Star pumps Rs 1,233 cr into Hotstar, Starsports.com as competition heats up

Star India, a media company backed by Twenty-First Century Fox, has injected 12.33 billion rupees ($192.04 million) into its digital content arm over the last six months amid intense competition among online video providers in India.

Through a rights issue, Star India infused the money in Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt Ltd, which runs streaming video platform Hotstar and Starsports.com, regulatory filings showed.

Star on Tuesday won the television and digital rights for Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket for the next five years with a staggering $2.55 billion bid.

India’s $20 billion media and entertainment industry is in the middle of an intensifying war for content between global firms such as Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and a host of home-grown players.

Facebook Inc is also keen to jump on the bandwagon. The company was one of the bidders for IPL’s digital rights, along with other domestic players such as telecom operators Bharti Airtel Ltd and Reliance Jio.

Hotstar, is the market leader among India’s over-the-top platforms when measured by active subscribers, and holds exclusive Indian rights to stream many hit sitcoms from the U.S. TV channel operator HBO, including “Game of Thrones”.

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